Sep 16 2008

Pikelet – Bug-In-Mouth

Published by at 2:06 am under MP3's,Song of the Day

Before coming to Australia, where I’m studying until December, I was repeatedly told that there is no local music scene in Sydney. “It’s all DJs and clubs and $20 drinks and dress codes,” they said. Well apparently, these people never wandered outside of the two block radius encompassed by our campus. Sydney’s music scene is thriving.

Last week, I wandered into the Hopetoun Hotel (they call bars hotels, weird) in a wonderful town called Surry Hills to discover Pikelet, an Australian singer/songwriter/magician out of Melbourne. Sitting alone with a classical guitar, in front of two mics and above an assortment of loop and delay pedals, next to a lone tom-tom, underneath what seemed like a single ray of divine light, Pikelet built masterful, otherworldly arrangements that I still don’t believe could originate entirely from one person. After only one song, I knew: if I were to take a trip to a mystical land far, far away, Pikelet would be my soundtrack.

She weaves tales in the style of Joanna Newsom, meandering through songs with ever-evolving structures, forcing her stories to fit her melodies, all the while propelled by layers of accordion, synthesizers, classical guitar and vocal and percussive loops. If you’re into the above mentioned Ms. Newsom, Kate Bush, Mirah, Audrey Ryan, dig Sufjan’s arrangements or have a respect for Phil Elverum’s production style, then you’ve found a friend in Pikelet.

I know I’ve been captured by a sound when I can space out for an hour, not quite knowing what just happened, but having definitively vague memories of valleys and peaks, of half-conceived hooks and singular notes, that with a second listen, always evoke overwhelming deja vu, and nostalgia for something that might not exist. Basically, it’s when I get the chills. So, thanks for that, Pikelet. And I hope y’all get the chills too.

And my favorite lyric so far, from “Bug-In-Mouth”:

“Instead of sleeping, I’m going to keep going. Instead of counting sheep, I’m going to count how many bugs I eat in my sleep.”

And two songs! From her self-titled debut (and you can purchase the album from the link below, which you should):

Pikelet – Bug-In-Mouth

Pikelet – Size Matters

|Myspace|Website/OMG buy the album!|Wikipedia!|

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Pikelet – Bug-In-Mouth”

  1. RARAon 29 Sep 2008 at 10:11 am

    Nick, whoever told you that Sydney has no music scene is surely out of the loop, clueless and uncultured. Yes lots of people here pay $20 to get into clubs and to listen to the dj play terrible top 40 ‘music’ that has been remixed..but there is a small community of us who ignore this and embrace gigs headlined by artists who are little known but are big big big with their music abilities. I’m glad you made the discovery for yourself, that some really great independent music is hidden in the crevices of a city that is fuelled by the norm of tedious dance and r’n’b music.
    P.S-Surry Hills is so lovely with its cafes, vintage stores, trees and the Hopetoun :)

  2. Tayloron 03 Apr 2013 at 8:08 pm

    I agree with you guys, Sydney has an awesome music scene if you can actually be bothered to explore more than the Cross. There are some great Aussie artists (non-top-40) out there like Michael Cullen you just have to look.

    You can go to a Sunday afternoon session in Surry Hills or find a pop up music festival in Enmore.

    People need to branch out more before they criticise!

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